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LOCAL NEWS BRIEFS

>Bond rating upgraded by Moody's, Lewis says

LOCKPORT -- Niagara County Manager Gregory D. Lewis said Tuesday that Moody's Investors Service, one of the two major Wall Street bond rating firms, has upgraded the county's credit rating.

Lewis told the County Legislature that Moody's rating of Niagara County was improved one notch, from Baa1 to A3.

Lewis said Moody's informed the county that its growing surpluses and "financially sound operation" were the main reasons for the upgrade.

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>Public meeting planned on beach water quality

The Erie County Health Department will hold a public meeting this month regarding the E. coli contamination that annually affects water quality at Lake Erie Beach and Evans Town Beach.
The meeting is scheduled for 7 p.m. June 14 in Pavilion Two-Lakeside in Evans Town Park, 8965 Lake Shore Road. Officials will seek input on ways to assure the beaches remain open during the summer.

The County Legislature recently accepted a $42,389 grant from the Environmental Protection Agency to study beach-closing protocols.

The grant lets the Health Department conduct beach and stream sanitary surveys to identify possible sources of contamination, including wet weather overflows from sanitary and storm water and private sewage treatment system (septic system) failures.

"Over the last few years, several Lake Erie beaches have been closed 2030 percent of the time during our short swimming season," said County Legislator Robert B. Reynolds, D-Hamburg.

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